Poor Farm Cooperative Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
Mission Statement The Crow Wing County Poor Farm Cooperative State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be actively managed to maintain diversified cover types and ecological attributes which perpetuate and enhance wildlife habitat.
History of the Poor Farm
The Poor Farm Cooperative State Wildlife Management Area was originally a county social services facility that operated at the turn of the 19th century. Residents who were unable to care for themselves on their own were placed at the Poor Farm, which operated some 17 years, from 1895 until 1912. During its operation, limited agricultural articles were produced at the Poor Farm and sold presumably to help fund its operation.
The Poor Farm was re-developed as a cooperative state wildlife management area in 1980. This designation allowed Crow Wing County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to cooperatively manage the site in a natural state. Today, nearly 320 acres within the Poor Farm are managed for wildlife and forest resources. Many forest and wildlife demonstrations at the Poor Farm help area residents to develop and implement forest and wildlife plans on their own lands.
Although through time the objectives of the Poor Farm have changed and the original buildings have long since disappeared, the site still persists much as it did when it was established more than 100 years ago. Several large box elder trees still mark the location of the residence building on the south side of the parking area.
Follow State Highway 25 south from Brainerd. Continue approximately 1.5 miles south on State Highway 25 past the intersection of State Highways 25 and 18. The Poor Farm parking area is located on the west side of the highway, immediately south of the junction of County Road 9 and State Highway 25.